What Are Miranda Rights in Massachusetts?

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What Are My Miranda rights in Massachusetts?

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you. We’ve all heard these words on TV and in the movies. You hear them when a police officer is arresting a suspect. They are your Miranda rights. These are very important protections each of us has. But what are your Miranda rights exactly? What do they do for you? And when do they have to be given? Let’s take a look at your rights and see how to exercise them.

What Rights Do You Have Under Miranda?

The Miranda warning notifies you of four basic rights you have. They are:

You have the right to remain silent;
Anything you say can and will be used against you;
You have the right to an attorney; and,
If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.

The Right to Remain Silent

You have the right to remain silent. That means that you don’t have to talk to the police. Period. You don’t have to answer any questions. The reason for this critical right is that you may incriminate yourself if you speak to the police without your attorney present. The government is not allowed to get information that could hurt you without notifying you of this right.

Anything You Say Can and Will be Used Against You

Keep in mind, when the police are questioning you, they’re building a case. You may be the suspect in that case. They’re not asking you questions to help you. They’re building evidence to convict you. Even seemingly harmless statements can be twisted and used against you. For instance, you tell the police you were present where something took place but you didn’t do anything wrong. Now you’ve put yourself at the crime scene making it easier to connect you to the crime.

You Have the Right to an Attorney

Because you’re facing the might of the government, you have the right to have an advocate on your side. Our Constitution recognizes the power of the government. You versus the government is not a fair fight. That’s why you have the right to have a lawyer speak on your behalf. The cards are stacked against you when interacting with the police. To even the playing field, get a lawyer.

If You Cannot Afford an Attorney, One Will Be Provided for You

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If you make very little money, you could qualify for a court-appointed attorney. If you can afford it, you can go out and hire an attorney. But what if you make too much money to qualify for a court-appointed attorney but not enough to hire a lawyer? That’s where we come in. Our fees are on a sliding scale based on your income. The less you make, the less we charge. We’re dedicated to providing high-quality representation at an affordable price.

When Do the Police Have to Read You Your Miranda rights?

Contrary to what you see on TV, cops don’t have to read you your rights when they arrest you. Not reading your rights at the time of arrest is not a reason to dismiss the case. It may have implications in your case, however. They have to notify you of your rights whenever there is a custodial interrogation. If you make statements during a custodial interrogation without being advised of your Miranda rights, we may be able to get those statements thrown out.

What Does It Mean to Be in Custody in Massachusetts?

Police custody takes many forms. You’re in custody when you’re arrested, obviously, but you can be in custody in many more situations. In Massachusetts, you’re in custody anytime you’re interacting with the police and a “reasonable person” would believe you are not free to leave.

There are four factors a court will consider when deciding if you were in custody:

The place of the interrogation;

Whether the investigation has begun to focus on you as a suspect, including whether there is probable cause to arrest you;

The nature of the interrogation, including whether the interview was aggressive; and

Whether, at the time the statement was made, you were free to end the interview by leaving.

Conclusion

You have the right to remain silent. You should definitely exercise that right. Don’t talk to the police. They’re looking to prosecute you. Don’t give them any ammunition against you. They must advise you of your Miranda rights when you are in custody and they are interrogating you. Being in custody means more than just being arrested. You’re in custody anytime a reasonable person would believe you are not free to leave an encounter with the police. If you’ve made a statement, we may be able to suppress that statement. If so, the statement and any evidence it led to is inadmissible at your trial.

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